Thursday, 25 June 2009

Dog Soldiers (2002)

This was a spur of the moment watch, you know, when you have nothing planned and think. Hell I’ll watch X movie again. I had seen Dog Soldiers before and had quite enjoyed it so it was a great chance to look in again at the blu-ray version.vlcsnap-991664

One of the first things that hit was was “who the hell is he, i know him”. You know, that awful nagging feeling that tears you up inside until the inspiration comes and the answer presents itself. OR you pull up IMDB and realised its Kevin “Tommy, Lucius Verenos” McKidd. Ahhh. And he is bloody good. I would go so far as to say that it is about time Hollywood gave Mr McKidd a break. Come on guys!

Well the opening scenes (after the obligatory tent massacre!) show Private Coopers failing to make the grade for Special Ops after he refuses to shoot a dog in cold blood. His assessor does this instead, setting up what kind of cold hearted bastard Captain Ryan actually is. Hopefully we wont see him again…

We then follow Private Cooper and his squad to the Highlands of Scotland where they are to take part in a training exercise. Every one of the squaddies is portrayed brilliantly and Sean Pertwee at Sergeant Wells absolutely shines. We encounter our friend Ryan again and discover that the squad are actually the bait in a rather nasty (and misjudged) trap.

Dog soldiers is excellently scripted and shot with lighting being or particular note. You get the full impression of a dusk into night scenario and the Werewolves Point of View is brilliantly realised with black and white photography rendering details in pin sharp clarity. Music is also fantastic and complements the drama perfectly. There are also a few quite witty one liners (one of note follows the death of Spoony where Sgt. Wells observes…”There is no Spoon”). One thing that didn’t gel with the movie for me was the overuse of gore. Guts being a particular favourite. This seemed excessive and in my view detracted from an otherwise taught film. The scene with the Dog Sgt. Wells innards also had more squirm factor then i was comfortable with given the rather lighter tone of the rest of the piece. vlcsnap-995486

Also of note are the werewolves which considering the restraints of the medium and budgetary concerns come off rather well. They are sadly quite wooden in effect but still more effective then CGI could have been. (contrast this with Doctor Who's Werewolf which looks so much better but has very little physical impact).

Overall Dog Soldiers is a great film. Entertaining and fun to watch and a great character study, something very rare in horror. I could watch Sean Pertwee all day and Kevin McKidd has got to destined for greater things surely?vlcsnap-991717

Paul out…and gathering the family silver.

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